Mike DeWine, Ohio governor, trans, rights, gender-affirming

Ohio Governor Vetoes Bill Banning Gender-Affirming Care For Trans Kids

This is a huge win for trans rights!

Ohio governor Mike DeWine is standing up for transgender kids.

The Republican governor vetoed a bill Dec. 29 that would ban gender-affirming care for trans youth, CNN reports. Passed by lawmakers shortly before the holiday break, DeWine said signing the legislation would “be saying that the state, the government” knows what’s better for youth than their parents.

HB 68 would have placed a ban on gender-affirming care—including hormone blockers, hormone replacement therapy, and medical or surgical procedures for both trans and nonbinary youth. The bill also would have banned transgender athletes from participating in female sports.

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBTQ+ advocacy group, praised DeWine’s decision, calling it a “huge win for trans youth and their families in Ohio” on Twitter.

Close to 20 other states have already passed laws prohibiting youth gender-affirming care. Data from HRC state about 30% of transgender youth between 13 and 17 live in those banned states.

“Parents have looked me in the eye and told me, but for this treatment, their child would be dead,” DeWine said in a press conference. “I have also been told by those who are now grown adults that but for this care, they would have taken their lives when they were teenagers. Ultimately, I believe this is about protecting human life.”

The American Medical Association lists gender-affirming care as a necessity to improve the physical and mental health of transgender people. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, trans youth are less likely to have episodes of anxiety, ideas of suicide or suicide attempts because of discrimination and gender dysphoria.

If the bill were to pass, care-providing physicians would be “subject to discipline by the applicable professional licensing board.”

“These are gut-wrenching decisions that should be made by the parents and should be informed by teams of doctors advising them,” DeWine said. “These are parents who have watched the child suffer sometimes for years and have real concerns that their child may not survive.”